The Pontifical Academy of Martyrs (Pontificia Academia Cultorum Martyrum, originally Collegium Cultorum Martyrum) is one of the ten Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See. It serves to advance the cult of saints and martyrs and the study of related early Christian history,including the catacombs. It operates with guidance and support from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Roman Curia.
The Academy was established on 2 February 1879 by four distinguished scholars of sacred antiquity – Mariano Armellini, Adolfo Hytreck, Orazio Marucchi, and Enrico Stevenson – and the Papal Academy, in conjunction with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
The Academy is tasked with promoting the cult of the holy martyrs and increasing, through study, knowledge of the saints, including their example as "witnesses of the Faith".
It is also responsible for the monuments to these saints from the first centuries of Christianity, including the catacombs beneath Rome. The Academy organises and promotes celebrations of ancient Christian cemeteries, the catacombs, and other sacred places, as well as religious functions and archaeological conferences. To this end it works closely with the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology.
The Academy holds at least two general meetings each year, close to the Papal Institute of Christian Archaeology and the Collegio Teutonico in The Vatican.
The Papal Academy "Cultorum Martyrum" supports also, during Lent, the unwinding of the ritual stand in honour of Carlo Respighi, Magister from 1931 until 1947.
The Academy consists of "Sodales" and "Associates" of both sexes. At the age of 80 a Sodales becomes an "Emeritus". Cardinal or Bishop Sodales are appointed "Defences".
The title of the Academy's administrator is "Magister", an office appointed (and renewed) by the Pope. The Magister, in accordance with the Academy's "Guiding Advice", can collaborate with other Pontifical Academies which have business related to a particular martyr's sanctuary. Its current "Magister" is Fabrizio Bisconti.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.
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A dicastery is a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus (1988), includes this definition:
By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Congregations, Tribunals, Councils and Offices, namely, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
Indult Catholic was a traditionalist Catholic loaded term used from the early 21st century until 2007 as a pejorative label applied to Catholics who attended only the licit celebrations of the Tridentine Mass in Latin according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal and regulated by the local bishop through an indult that conformed to the 1984 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments norms in the ecclesiastical letter Quattuor abhinc annos.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is the congregation of the Roman Curia that handles most affairs relating to liturgical practices of the Latin Church as distinct from the Eastern Catholic Churches and also some technical matters relating to the Sacraments. Its functions were originally exercised by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, set up in January 1588 by Pope Sixtus V.
A pontifical academy is an academic honorary society established by or under the direction of the Holy See. Some were in existence well before they were accepted as "Pontifical."
Antonio Cañizares Llovera is a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who is the Archbishop of Valencia. He is the former Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2008 to 2014, and former Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain from 2002 to 2008. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006. He was appointed Archbishop of Valencia in August 2014, a move which removed him from the Congregation.
A canonical coronation is a pious institutional act of the Pope, duly expressed in a Papal bull in which oftentimes a Papal legate or Papal nuncio, or at rare occasions the Pontiff himself designates a crown, tiara, or stellar halo to a Christological, Marian, or Josephian image with a specific devotional title that is prominently venerated in a particular diocese or locality.
Virgilio Noè was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and cardinal. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1991.
Antonio Innocenti was an Italian Cardinal who was a leading figure in the Roman Curia and the Vatican diplomatic service for many years.
A minor basilica is a Catholic church building that has been granted the title of basilica by the Holy See or immemorial custom. Presently, the authorising decree is granted by the Pope through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Gianfranco Ravasi is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2010, he has been President of the Pontifical Council for Culture since 3 September 2007. He headed Milan's Ambrosian Library from 1989 to 2007.
The Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology is an official board of the Vatican founded in 1852 by Pope Pius IX for the purpose of promoting and directing excavations in the Catacombs of Rome and on other sites of Christian antiquarian interest, and of safeguarding the objects found during such excavations. In 1925, Pope Pius XI declared that the Commission was Pontifical and its competencies were defined in detail and reaffirmed recently in the conventions between the Holy See and the Italian State.
Pope Paul VI's reform of the Roman Curia was accomplished through a series of decrees beginning in 1964, principally through the apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae universae issued on 15 August 1967.
The Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi al Pantheon is one of the Pontifical Academies under the direction of the Holy See. The complete Italian name of the academy, Pontificia Insigne Accademia di Belle Arti e Letteratura dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, includes the adjective insigne (illustrious), often omitted in official English translations. The term Virtuosi al Pantheon is also usually left untranslated, but, in any event, should not be taken in the English musical sense of “virtuoso” but rather “artists of great merit”. The Pantheon in Rome was the historical home of the academy. The term “academy” is meant in the Renaissance definition of the term as an association of learned persons and not an institution of instruction.
The history of the Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus responsible for managing the affairs of the Holy See and the Catholic Church, can be traced to the 11th century when informal methods of administration began to take on a more organized structure and eventual a bureaucratic form. The Curia has undergone a series of renewals and reforms, including a major overhaul following the loss of the Papal States, which fundamentally altered the range and nature of the Curia's responsibilities, removing many of an entirely secular nature.
Giuseppe Casoria was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship from 1981 to 1984, and elevated to the cardinalate in 1983.
The Pontifical Academy of Archaeology is an academic honorary society established in Rome by the Catholic Church for the advancement of Christian archaeological study. It is one of the ten such Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See.
Robert Sarah is a Guinean prelate of the Catholic Church. A Cardinal since 20 November 2010, he was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014. He previously served as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples under Pope John Paul II, and president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum under Pope Benedict XVI.
Monsignor Wilhelm Imkamp is a German Roman Catholic priest, theologian, and church historian. A member of the Papal household, he was appointed as a Prelate of Honour of His Holiness in 2006 and an Apostolic Protonotar in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Imkamp serves as a consultant for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, The German Association of the Holy Land, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is a knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the Order of Parfaite Amitié.